Chess requires you to think hard, analyze, plan and execute. Problem solving and learning are part of a game. First Move has success built into the lessons; kids learn they can take on something challenging and be successful. Chess also has smart “brand association,” kids who play chess believe they are smart.
Being in the classroom means all kids receive the benefit of becoming a better thinker and the cross-curricular ties First Move delivers. The concepts may be math, science, or reading based, but the kids call it all chess and they love it!
First Move is a two year curriculum taught in 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. Each 50 minute lesson is taught once a week during classroom time, allowing ALL students to benefit from the skills learned. Both Year One and Year Two of the program are comprised of 32 lessons that teach students to analyze, plan and execute on the chess board and in life.
You can be successful with First Move! Absolutely no chess knowledge is required. “The Chess Lady” teaches lessons via streaming video and the classroom teacher facilitates the reinforcing student activities. The Sample Video features a segment of the 2nd lesson in the curriculum.
The First Move chess curriculum is designed to be used during the school day as a supplemental curriculum in 2nd and 3rd grade. The program meets the Common Core Standards and is aligned with state teaching requirements for 2nd and 3rd grade, making this a valuable use of classroom time. Math, reading, writing, history and S.T.E.M are taught via First Move, using chess as the teaching tool for the cross curricular subjects.
“I teach in a Title 1 school and have children with special needs, learning delays, and complex trauma they are dealing with. I have six bilingual learners. Chess was the equalizer this year. My highest, most gifted students played chess with my Fetal Alcohol Syndrome student and everyone was a winner.” Trina Lanegan, 2nd grade teacher at Mt. Stuart Elementary School, Ellensburg, WA
“They are learning other valuable lessons as well: fair play, sportsmanship, respect, critical thinking, and how to compare two items. It is exciting to see them planning for two moves instead of just one like in the beginning.” James Wiggins, teacher at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Detroit, MI
“I LOVE this program. IT is designed very well. It is systematically strong, provides ample practice for students to learn each piece of knowledge, and I am learning more right along with my class. I also love how it supports the language and skills I am teaching them in math. We have even initiated a class versus class game using our large display boards. Thank you so much for sharing this program.” Kurt Brandner, 3rd grade teacher at Stanley Elementary, Tacoma, WA
“My students love chess, and I have seen them grow as critical thinkers by learning to play the game. I love that I can connect what they learn in chess to other subjects that I teach particularly math.” Casey Watts, 3rd grade teacher at Nora Davis Magnet School, Laurel, MS
“I can’t tell you how much we have enjoyed learning the game of chess. The strategies of placement and moves are unbelievable!! My students love to compete and have learned to be gracious winners and losers.” Jeannie D’Agostino, 2nd grade teacher at Edison Regional Gifted Center, Chicago, IL
“Students like the game and do not realize how much of it they are transferring to their academic curriculum. We have used the chess board labeling and applied it to math graphs as well as in coordinate map reading.” Tatiana Bravo, 3rd grade teacher at J.D. Parks Elementary, Pasadena, TX
“I have seen many benefits from this program in my classroom from social aspects to academic improvement.”Robin McSestheis, 2nd grade teacher at Austin Elementary, Grand Prairie, TX
“The program is challenging enough that my students have to think about how to solve the work through the problem, yet through the program have been given the tools and skills to be and feel successful.”Mrs. Myers, 3rd grade teacher at Friendship Elementary, Keller TX
“They have improved their thinking skills, math skills and teamwork learning to play chess.”Samantha Goodstein, 2nd grade teacher at Prieto Academy, Chicago, IL
“It has been a unique opportunity for my students. They have enjoyed learning the game, as well as taking home their own chess sets.”Mrs. Harris, 2nd grade teacher at Lanier Elementary, Tulsa, OK
“Whenever we have some “free choice” time—many students ask to play chess. It’s amazing to see a group of 27 seven and eight year olds silently staring at the chess board and thoughtfully considering their next move.”Mrs. Lamborn, 2nd grade teacher at Edison Elementary, Tacoma, WA
“We have been working through the lessons with students and they are loving it! It is great to see how they make connections to things they are learning in class and to things they have already learned.”Marcie Romero, Counselor at Beaver Technology Center, Garland, TX
“I have seen my student use new analytical strategies to plan their moves. I have often been surprised when they discovered the moves on the demonstration board before I did. I have also observed students with difficulty focusing on a task, becoming totally absorbed in their games. Focusing attention is not a challenge during chess.”Claudia Lund, 2nd grade teacher at Oakridge Elementary, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
“The chess program is up and running in all of the second and third grade classes at School One. Our students are very excited about learning to play chess and learning new strategies to become better players. They continue to use critical thinking skills as they improve their ability to play chess. Chess makes learning fun and the students are so engaged.”Mrs. Jaclyn Duffy, 3rd Grade Teacher at School One, Scotch Plains, NJ